Strategies for Heroes & Legends, or why Maui can be really good


Doomsday Machine
Jun 6, 2004
Zagreb, Croatia
Let me preface by saying that I've been introducing game modes very slowly into my games. Currently I'm at Barbarians, Corporations and Heroes & Legends. So no sinergies for other modes yet, sorry. :-/ I also play excusively on non-deity, however I do think most of these strategies apply to any difficulty. After all, getting a hero means you successfully got him or her, regardless of difficulty.

Hopefully this will turn into a series of posts in a single thread, but for now let me focus on Maui.

Maui is a melee hero with 4 charges of a unique ability to spawn a resource on a tile.
Being a melee unit, it can come in very handy at clearing barbarian camps or assisting an early neighbor rush, before or after you used his 4 charges. As such, monument/Maui is a solid substitute for a slinger in the production queue, since he can clear a camp by himself, and fast, thanks to additional hero movement. He's also perfect for sniping AI settlers, since he can actually kill the guard unit and live to tell the tale. Other than that, there's nothing special about his combat ability, but it's a nice bonus.

Maui's special ability and how to use it
Maui can spawn any luxury or bonus resource on a tile (hex) provided two conditions are met:
1. the target hex is not within cultural borders
2. the target hex doesn't already have a resource. Hidden strategic resources like iron or aluminum also count. You'll get a notification if a strategic resource is blocking using Maui's ability on the hex.

Some resources are better than others, notably an ivory camp definitely beats a grassland corn. Since Maui can't spawn strategic resources, you'll notice that all the "undewhelming" bonus resources like corn, cattle or copper can only spawn on clear terrain. Thus, the best use for maui is to drop his charges on jungle hills, flat jungle, forest hills or flat forest. This limits the "bad" resources to deer (camp/forest) and bananas (plantation/jungle), resources that can utilize their pantheons to greater effect. This will almost guarantee you 4 luxury resources, most of them plantations, with the exception of mentioned camps.

Maui is best used in one of the first 3 cities you plan to settle, since, unlike Hercules, these benefits are best acquired very early in the game. Additional hammers or food, especially pantheon-powered can really propel your game.

Before you do all this, though, it would be best to plan out your districts and wonders, so the new resources don't interfere. This is especially true if you are playing with a legendary start and/or with abundant resources.

Maui's synergy with corporations, wonders, pantheons & Caguana
Either by adding copies of existing luxuries, or possibly granting you 3 of a type you didn't already have, Maui can truly change the pace of your game. It can spawn resources not present on your continent, which is especially beneficial with culture & science monopolies & corporations that your continent might otherwise lack.

With legendary starts & abunant resources, if you are willing to reroll to get lots of deer, Maui can truly turn your capital into a crazy production & food powerhouse. Prerequisites? Temple of Artemis and Goddess of the Hunt Pantheon (Inidentally, that goddess would be Artemis). A similar case can be made for Goddess of Festivals, if you happen to select that pantheon.

If you have a "guaranteed Caguana", you could also ditch the "no Maui use on clear terrain" logic and create some truly outrageous Bateys. If you are willing to reload, you might even test the surrounding tiles for hidden strategic resources like niter, that might block a batey in the future.

Maui is truly wonderful, provided circumstances & your playstyle support his ability. Hope this helps. See you soon!
Arthur is a cavalry hero with 4 charges of a unique ability to turn other units into questing knights, another cavalry unit.

The trick I've been using lately is really simple: overwhelm the first AI opponent before it can react. Build order: Scout, scout, monument, Arthur, scout.
Since scouts can be turned into Questing Knights as well, and scouts can relatively easily catch up to arthur, this gives you the potential 4 units that Arthur can turn into Questing knights. Although the spawned knights are destroyed as units after 12 turns and can't promote, but heal only by pillaging or waiting... this force might be enough to take out one AI.

Since Arthur himself has 30 turns of life, he can still be useful in his elder days by reaching & clearing out barb camps further away, only if protected by non-anti-cav units like warriors, slingers & archers, though.
Good tips for both Maui and Arthur, although I do find Maui's special ability underwhelming compared to many other heroes. Ironically, I find that Arthur is probably better on deity than on lower difficulties because you can often wipe out an entire civ in the ancient era if Arthur is your first hero and the AI doesn't have good defensive terrain. You can end up with some crazy start with like 5 cities by turn 40.
Yes, Maui is underwhelming, except if taken very early. In that case, he actually beats guys like Hercules, because... I had by mistake – and not on one occasion – taken Hercules too early to crank out any districts at all, and Himiko too early before I realize I have no city state to send her to. At least Maui's melee designation and resources are game-long and "guaranteed" to succeed.
Inspired by this thread I took Maui as my first hero, and whom I actually discovered first. Really fun bonus and he can fight barbs too.

Hope to see more hero strategies Bibor!
Sun Wukong
Sun is an interesting hero. Tested on King and below, provided you activate her very early, she can "farm" a nearby AI for settlers and wokers, effectively shutting down any expansion of a single AI, while bolstering your own.

There are two reasons for her effectiveness:
First, her increased life span (50 turns) means she can stick around for a long time. She can also reach the AI quickly, since she ignores all terrain costs (except rivers).
Second, she's invisible to non-adjacent units, including cities. She is truly invisible to AI, meaning you can lurk 2 hexes from a city and catch any unescorted civilian unit. Her adventures are probably best bolstered by an archer or two after AI starts escorting settlers with archers and cavalry, helping her deal with escorted civilian units. She can deal with slingers on her own. Note, while you wait for civilian units to spawn, you can also pillage enemy tiles with ease, since her movement speed means she can pillage on the same turn.

My best run with Sun so far is 3 settlers and 3 workers (although the first one had just 1 charge). Realistically, I think overall 4 civilian units is a good average.
I'm not sure Maui is worth it early game, other heroes have a lot more impact. I have used Maui extraordinarily successfully in the mid-late settling phase to "fix" bad terrain as you move out from your Civ core cities. Often there's some juicy strategics plus a luxury or two but it's surrounded by crapping tundra variants or desert (or just plains). In these cases, what OP calls "bad" outcomes are actually exactly what you need to turn a highly marginal city location into a powerhouse or that lets you span into a new area. I don't worry too much about whether I get luxuries, it more about creating a quick growing city. Have Maui go with the Settler for protection and terraforming in one (big) package.
Hi! I just started my first game with Heroes and Legends and I'm very excited about it. We're at T16 and we have so far revealed 3/12 heroes, Beowulf, Hercules, and Himiko.
Top Bottom